Holy Crap, Houston!

Thanks to David Duff for pointing out the latest sheer insanity by classical  KUHA CEO Lisa Trapani Shumate.  In the city where the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University is turning out some of the greatest musicians of our era, this short-sighted manager has fired almost the entire staff of the classical station.  Her excuse was a pretty sketchy report of revenue shortfall, which usually is an indication of management not doing its job.

From Houstonculturemap.com:

Employees were told that lack of funds accrued from the recent nine-day fundraising campaign, which a source described as a colossal failure, was to blame. When the fundraising drive ended on Friday, KUHA was $74,000 short of its $200,000 goal while KUHF was only able to secure $800,000 of its $1 million goal — losses that had never before been experienced in appeals for funds in years past…

Despite the growing number of dismissals, Shumate has found money in her budget to create other jobs. She’s hired more than 15 people since the summer for positions in customer service, finance, development and production. According to the Texas Tribune, Shumate makes $270,000 a year. In comparison, the highest-paid salary at Austin KUT is $152,000…

A media relations representative claims that the leaked results of the recent fundraising drive are not accurate — and that they did not play a role in the layoffs.

Music Director St. John Flynn seems to be the only one left standing, with survivor’s guilt, no doubt.  St. John, we need to hear from you!  What can we do to help?  There’s a whole community of us out here who are grieving for our colleagues Bob Stevenson, Elaine Kennedy, Chris Johnson and Chris Hathaway, as well as the behind-the-scenes staff and the dozen staffers laid off two years ago.

Houston Public Media management, you’re despicable!




About Marty Ronish

Marty Ronish is an independent producer of classical music radio programs. She currently produces the Chicago Symphony Orchestra broadcasts that air 52 weeks a year on more than 400 stations and online at www.cso.org. She also produces a radio series called "America's Music Festivals," which presents live music from some of the country's most dynamic festivals. She is a former Fulbright scholar and co-author of a catalogue of Handel's autograph manuscripts.

Subscribe Via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to Scanning the Dial and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend